News

News Round-up: November 10 - December 5

mossy_11 on Sunday, 05 December 2010. Posted in News

apple-logoIn Apple and Mac gaming news, iOS 4.2 was released two weeks ago, bringing “multi-tasking” functionality to the iPad; a Steam hardware survey suggests that most Mac gamers are using laptops; Feral Interactive has released a Mac port of popular action-RPG Borderlands; Aspyr’s Mac port of Civilization V has landed; Telltale has released a poker game, Poker Night at the Inventory, with Max (from Sam & Max), Strong Bad, The Heavy (from Team Fortress 2), and Tycho Brahe (from Penny Arcade) as the opponents; id Software’s Rage has hit the current generation of iOS devices; and the Grand Theft Auto 3 trilogy has finally made its way to OS X.


stellaAtari 2600 VCS emulator Stella received a big update last month. Version 3.3 lists around twenty bug fixes, improvements, and additions to graphics display, application performance, debugging, and more. See the official Stella news page for release notes and the main site for the latest download link.


MacifomCycle-exact and Cocoa-native NES emulator Macifom has been updated to version 0.15. This new version adds support for games that use the MMC3 mapper on TxROM boards and games that were designed for SUROM boards, in addition to providing various other improvements. See the official site for full details.

More updates after the break.

News Round-up: October 8 - November 9

mossy_11 on Tuesday, 09 November 2010. Posted in News

mac_os_x_lion_bannerThe next major version of Mac OS X will be called Lion, it was revealed at a “Back to the Mac” media event on October 20. Due for release in mid-2011, Lion promises to bring dozens of features and ideas from the iOS devices. It remains to be seen how well these features will work with the larger Mac screen and a keyboard/mouse set-up.

macappstore


But the big talking point has been the Mac App Store, which will be similar to the iOS App Store. Many (including myself) predicted this move to a central repository for Mac software, and the general consensus seems to be that it is a good thing -- provided the Mac App Store remains just one of many ways to obtain software for your Mac. Apple is soliciting submissions for the store, which is due to launch early next year.

macbook-air


In other Apple news, the new 11” MacBook Air fills a long-vacated hole in Apple’s laptop line-up -- last occupied by the 12” PowerBook. The base price of US$999 makes for a very tempting deal. Xserve, Apple’s rackmounted server line, will be discontinued on January 31. Apple has provided an "Xserve Transition Guide" to help existing users migrate to the Mac Mini or Mac Pro server solutions. Apple also revealed that its port of Java for Mac OS X is officially deprecated.


apple-logoApple also reported a Q4 revenue of $20.34 billion, an all-time record for the company. Year-over-year Mac and iPhone sales increased by 27 and 91 percent, respectively, while iPod sales dropped 11 percent in the same period. Check out the press release for a full run-down.


Leading Mac emulation headlines is the news that PowerPC Macintosh emulator SheepShaver has been updated twice in as many weeks. The new build offers a number of ‘under the hood’ changes, partial support for bin/cue files, and 64-bit mode for Snow Leopard users. See the E-Maculation forums for a download link and additional information. [Thanks WatchSmart for the tip.]

More emulation news after the break...

News Round-up: September 3 - October 7

mossy_11 on Thursday, 07 October 2010. Posted in News

pd6fm_box_161x166pxParallels Desktop 6 for Mac is now available. The new version boasts enhanced performance, remote access via iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch, easier setup, up to 80% faster 3D graphics performance, and Surround Sound 5.1 support, amongst a wealth of other features. Check out the official website for more information.


jpcsp_logoJava-based PSP emulator JPCSP has made considerable progress in recent months, with the latest release (0.6) offering a host of new features and major improvements. The developers boast compatibility with more than 70 games (commercial and homebrew). See the release notes for full details on the update, and the homepage for more information about the emulator. [Thanks dickmedd for the tip.]


DapplegreyQuickfire updates have been released for DOSBOX front-end Dapplegrey, which is now at version 2.16. Changes include more freedom to choose which DOS executable file to use when starting a game, in addition to a few related tweaks to the interface and behaviour.


mini_vmacAn alpha build has been released for Macintosh Plus emulator Mini vMac’s upcoming 3.2.1 update. Described by the developer as the “netbook edition,” the update promises more accurate timing in CPU emulation, while a new feature called “AutoSlow” allows users to conserve battery power by reducing the emulation speed to 1x when no input or output occurs for two seconds. See the Mini vMac website for more information.

More updates after the break.

News Round-up: August 2 - September 2

mossy_11 on Thursday, 02 September 2010. Posted in News

ipod-touchAt a September 1 media event, Apple introduced a new iPod lineup. The iPod Touch has been given a Retina display, FaceTime video calling, HD video recording, and the A4 processor, amongst a handful of other features from the iPhone 4. It managed to shed some weight in the process, and clocks in at just 101 grams (3.56 ounces), with a thickness of 0.28 inches/7.2 millimetres. Prices start at $229 US.


ipod-nanoMeanwhile, the iPod Shuffle has done a design backflip and integrated the features of the most recent Shuffle model with the form factor of the previous model. And the iPod Nano now sports a very small multi-touch interface, with the click-wheel being replaced by touch-screen buttons. It is now only slightly larger than the Shuffle, and offers a clip and a built-in pedometer and FM radio. Prices start at $49 US for the iPod Shuffle and $149 US for the iPod Nano. The iPod Classic will remain unchanged (but available) for the foreseeable future.


Apple also announced a new version of its struggling set-top box, the Apple TV. This redesigned Apple TV does away with the hard drive and shrinks down the size of the unit. Video content must now be streamed from the online store or via your local network. There are ports for HDMI, optical audio out, 10/100 Ethernet, and micro-USB. Prices start at $99 US. It’s also black, which will no doubt please some technology enthusiasts.


steam_logo1Three months after its release, Steam for Mac has a modest but respectable five per cent share on the Steam hardware and software survey. This confirms that take-up among Mac users has been reasonable, but hardly game-changing (don’t say I didn’t warn you). The real test will be to see how this changes over the next 12-18 months, as developers that added the Mac to their target platforms in the wake of Steam release new titles.

Emulator updates after the break.

News Round-up: July 4 - August 1

mossy_11 on Sunday, 01 August 2010. Posted in News

magic-trackpadApple has released the Magic Trackpad, a multi-touch trackpad designed for use on desktop computers. It has a size and profile that matches Apple’s most recent keyboards. Priced at US$69, many have labelled the device too expensive, while others wonder if it is the beginning of a paradigm shift away from mouse input. Check out the MacScene forum thread for the community’s take, and see the official product page for more information.


steam_logo1Valve plans to give away some of their code for OpenGL on the Mac in order to accelerate and motivate further development of Mac versions of Steam games. They claim that this will eliminate the “real hard work” in putting games on the Mac.


apple-logoApple announced an update to the iMac line, with speed bumps and a move to discrete graphics cards across all models. They also introduced a new Mac Pro line that promises “up to 50 percent greater performance,” and a 27-inch LED Cinema Display, which will replace the existing 24-inch and 30-inch models. The new Mac Pros will be available “in August” while the Cinema Display is set for a September release.


Apple’s Q3 earnings revealed that the Mac is growing in popularity, despite the recent focus on iOS devices. The iPad has already sold more than 3 million units. The iPhone 4 sold over 8 million units despite its much-publicised antenna problems and limited international release.


Emulator updates after the break.

Apple's Interesting 3rd Quarter

Kuribo on Wednesday, 21 July 2010. Posted in News

apple-logoApple recently released the report on its third fiscal quarter, telling of their most recent trends, profits, and deficits. The results were surprisingly positive, according to the mammoth company's predictions. What's your opinion on their recent growth? Do you absolutely oppose iPhone 4? Let us know, and read on for the Q3 details...

Highlights

  • Apple's net quarterly revenue was $15.7 billion, surpassing last year by $5.97 billion.
  • Fifty-two percent of all sales came from international purchases, indicating a reduced dependence on the United States alone.
  • The iPad, although only recently introduced, sold almost as many units as the Mac computer. There were 3.27 million iPads sold, compared to 3.47 million Macs.
  • Mac sales have increased to approximately ⅓ of the size reported last year.
  • iPod sales have dropped by eight percent from the last year, despite still being the unit in highest demand.
  • The recent iPhone 4 has proved cumbersome with its antenna issue (users are being compensated for their troubles with free cases, fixing the strange bug). However, sales were reported at 8.4 million iPhone 4 units. 

Generally, Apple representatives appear extremely pleased at the results. However, are you surprised by the details? What do you think about the iPad and iPhone 4? Do you absolutely love Apple's current direction? Do you feel the need to beg them to accept emulation apps in the App Store?

Feel free to voice your opinion!

[Via World of Apple.]

MacScene Wants You...

mossy_11 on Monday, 05 July 2010. Posted in News

cranky-kong-wants-you2To write about old games.

We’re starting a new feature here called Retro Game of the Week (see the first entry here). The basic idea is that someone (you, perhaps) writes an article about an old game, then the MacScene the community discusses said game. Simple, right?

If it’s going to work, though, we need your help. I will organise everything and help the volunteers with their articles (if necessary). But that’s the thing -- this is a community feature, so it has to be community driven in order to work long-term.

I have created a forum thread that will list all games suggested for future entries. Go there to suggest a game for someone else to write about or to stake out your territory on the games you want to do.

If you are willing to write or contribute to a Retro Game of the Week article, you can send me a message, comment on an article, or post on the forums. I’ll be creating a forum thread for tracking the schedule as soon as there is one, so you’ll be able to check when you committed to helping out, or see when there is an opening that might suit you.

Hit "read more" for more information.

News Round-up: June 3 - July 3

mossy_11 on Saturday, 03 July 2010. Posted in News

ios4_icon_20100624The latest operating system for Apple’s iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch devices -- newly renamed as iOS 4 -- is now available for download from the iTunes store. It is a free update for 2nd-gen iPod Touch / iPhone 3G or newer, although some features are only available on newer hardware, such as the not-really-multitasking-but-still-called-it multitasking. There’s really no reason not to update, as performance has been improved all round.


The iPhone 4 is now available, sporting a high resolution 960-by-640 “retina” display, 512MB RAM, a faster processor, new camera, and a new hardware design. Apple has been heavily criticised over a design flaw related to the antenna placement that resulted in reduced reception unless the phone is held in a specific (and awkward) way. They have released a backhanded apology that blames the problem on an error in the algorithm that calculates signal strength.


mac-miniContrary to popular opinion, the Mac mini is not dead, with Apple releasing a new design and updated internals for its neglected child. Most notable for gamers is the addition of a faster graphics card (NVIDIA GeForce 320M) and HDMI. It’s looking more and more attractive as a dedicated MAME box. Check out the press release here.

Emulator updates after the break.